Observations, not stories, are the pillars of good science. Today’s journals however, favor story-telling over observations, and congruency over complexity. As a consequence, there is a pressure to tell only good stories. Moreover, incentives associated with publishing in high-impact journals lead to loss of scientifically and ethically sound observations that do not fit the storyline, and in some unfortunate cases also to fraudulence. The resulting non-communication of data and irreproducibility not only delays scientific progress, but also negatively affects society as a whole.
A lot of time, effort and tax payer´s money is therefore wasted due to unnecessary repititions. This is even more critical, when it comes to involvement of animal experiments. Publication of single observations that remain without a story, negative data or less-than-dramatic findings should be encouraged for publication in order to avoid unnecessary use of animals for scientific research and implement the reduction (R) of animal experiments. To take a step in the right direction, the online journal “Matters” was founded by Prof. Dr. Lawrence Rajendran and his team of the University of Zurich, who says:
“At Sciencematters, we publish the true unit of science, the observation. You make an observation, make sure it’s solid and ethically sound, and then submit it to us. We guide your manuscript through triple-blind peer review, ensuring that your data is evaluated solely on its merits, rather than on who you are or where you work. Furthermore, we guarantee publication of all scientifically solid observations. You and others can then extend the observation in as many directions as the subsequent observations lead, without worrying whether they make for a nice story or not. As a result, the data tell the story! Standard data, orphan data, negative data, confirmatory data and contradictory data are all published. What emerges is an honest view of the science that is done, rather than just the science that sells a story. Together we will create an internet of science, bit by bit, piece by piece, together. Because science (alone) matters.”
Submit your observation here.